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Nasarawa 13 kidnap: Our lives in danger, Toto residents cry

Residents in Toto local government area of Nasarawa have called on the government to deploy security agents in the area to check banditry, kidnapping and…

Residents in Toto local government area of Nasarawa have called on the government to deploy security agents in the area to check banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery.

It comes after gunmen killed a driver and kidnapped 13 passengers along Nasarawa Toto-Umaisha Road on Tuesday night.

Residents spoke with the state governor Abdullahi Sule at a townhall meeting at Toto council secretariat, as part of activities to mark the second anniversary of the Sule administration.

Elements of the 177 Guard Battalion, Keffi are expected to begin rescue of the kidnapped passengers as late as Thursday, Sule told the townhall.

The area has been beset with attacks by the armed group Darul Salam, which settled in Nasarawa after being dislodged from Niger state between 2016 and 2017.

They settled in Uttu, because the Bassa people living there had deserted the area.

Sule said the group moved into deserted hamlets took over the hillside communities.

The problem is that Daru Salam had refused to stay quiet, and every time they are hungry they come down from the hills to the forest to attack the people and it became extremely difficult for people to travel between Toto and Umaisha, he  said.

A joint operation at Utu by navy, air force, 177 Guard Battalion and 4 Special Forces, Doma Barracks broke the group, leaving more than a thousand women and children of the Darul Salam men stranded.

They have since been rounded up and repatriated to their states of origin, said Sule.

“We know that some of them are still hunting. We know that they are trying to come back and that is the reasons why we have no other choice than to make sure that we established a military camp inside Uttu.

“We also established the supper camp and various other security agencies, including a Mopol squadron we have in Toto local government area of the state,” Sule stated.

Popular demands

Among other demands made by speakers at the forum include, the provision of portable water supply to the people of the council, as well as the elevation of the stool of the Ohinoyi Ogye, from second class to first class status.

Earlier, the Toto Local Government Area Chairman, Mr. Nuhu Adamu Dauda, while thanking the governor for producing a conductive atmosphere for peace and development to take place, highlighted on some of the development projects initiated in the area by the Sule administration, stressing that Toto LGA never had it so good like under the present government.

According to him, these projects to include, drafting a squadron of the police mobile force, establishing a permanent military super camp in Kenyehu, which saw to the dislodgement of bandits operating in the area, a divisional police headquarters was also established in Umuaisha.

He further enumerated the influencing of the sitting of the Azman Rice and Mills Limited, the Nigeria Floor Mills and Dangote Sugar Refinery, to Umuaisha, as well as the installation of the flood early warning system in Umuaisha, among others.

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